Out-of-towners flock to Baton Rouge for Wearin’ of the Green, March Madness
BATON ROUGE – Families visiting the capital city crowded around Mike the Tiger’s habitat at LSU Thursday afternoon.
“Pleasant small town. I came here because I wanted to see it. I’ve never seen it, but LSU is family heritage,” Charles Knoll said.
Knoll is one of thousands who are visiting Baton Rouge. The women’s basketball team is attracting guests from Hawaii, Michigan, and Las Vegas, as they host the NCAA tournament. Knoll came from Austin, Texas to see his family.
“I’ve been trying out all the food… I know they have some great food here in Louisiana,” Knoll said.
As an outsider, Knoll says he hasn’t been following local headlines, and had only heard about recent high-profile crimes from his relatives who live in the area after he got here.
Cases like the death of Nathan Millard, a tourist who disappeared while in town for a business trip, have some on edge. Though police have spent the past week reassuring visitors that high-traffic areas like downtown are safe.
“They believe that incident happened downtown, it did not. It happened away from the downtown area. Downtown is as safe as it always been” said Sgt. LJean McKneely, a spokesperson for BRPD.
Police say they are well aware of the influx of guest coming this weekend, not only for the games, but also The Wearin’ of the Green Parade on Saturday. They will have boots on the ground from multiple agencies to help keep everyone safe.
“If an incident occurs we will be on top of it in a minute’s notice,” McKneely said.